After Hours Video Series Launched

Nn3 Code 55 #6 Turnout Build


This week we launched a new series of videos called the After Hours Video Series. This series will feature a collection of videos shot in an informal relaxed manner highlighting various modeling projects that I am working on. Since producing fully edited video is a time consuming process, these videos are only lightly edited, and not narrated, simply watch the video and take from them what you will. I think these will be self explanatory, informative and should provide some helpful tips, especially those covering track building with Fast Tracks tools.


Nn3 Code 55 #6 turnout built in this video series

First up in the series is construction on an Nn3 #6 code 55 turnout. I decided to tackle this as we have not yet created any videos dealing with building trackwork in the smaller scales. The process is pretty much the same as HO scale and larger, but a bit more care and patience is needed to work with smaller parts.

I shot this last Saturday evening while listening to the St. Patrick’s day edition of Randy’s Vinyl Tap, so lots of catchy Irish music playing in the background. Beer was consumed.

The build is in 5 parts, all included below. Watch them in order, and in HD if you can. They are all shot with a HD camera and now that YouTube can stream HD video, the quality is far better then what could previously be shown. If the video stalls, simply pause the video for a few minutes, this will allow it to buffer ahead a bit and will play smoothly after that. Full screen is even better.

Part 1

  • Prepping and inserting PC board ties
  • Forming guard rails
  • Filing frog points using the PointForm tool
  • Pre-building frog points (to be installed later)

Part 2

  • Forming stock rails using the StockAid tool
  • Soldering both stock rails in place
  • Forming switch point using a PointForm tool
  • Soldering curved switch point/closure rail in place

Part 3

  • Preparing and installing straight switch point/closure rail
  • Soldering guard rails in place
  • Soldering frog point in place
  • Tweaking frog point
  • Filing and sanding top of frog points

Part 4

  • Removing turnout from fixture
  • Final soldering of switch points to throwbar
  • Filing and fitting switch points
  • Cleaning turnout with wire brush to remove traces of flux residue
  • Gluing completed turnout to laser cut QuickSticks
  • Breaking away QuickSticks
  • Dressing ends of wood ties to remove QuickSticks tabs

Part 5

  • Clamping completed turnout in vise
  • Cutting electrical isolation gaps in rail with jewelers saw
  • Deburring rail gaps with sharp edge file
  • Drilling throwbar for switch machine wire
  • Testing completed turnout with Nn3 boxcar

Feel free to embed or distribute these videos.

Feedback always welcome.


About the Author:

I'm your host, Tim Warris, a product developer in Port Dover, Ontario. Since March of 2007 I have been documenting the construction of the former CNJ Bronx Terminal in HO scale. For my day job, I design track building tools for Fast Tracks, a small company I own and operate. Fast Tracks makes it fast and easy to hand lay your own trackwork. Stop by our website to learn more!

Posted by: Tim | 03-18-2009 | 10:03 AM
Posted in: After Hours Video Series | Latest Posts | Track Construction | Video


  1. Haven’t watched the video yet, but: building Nn3 AND drinking beer at the same time? You’re just doing this to prove you can, right? I sense the makings of a new drinking game for model railroaders….

    Comment by Steve Watson — March 18, 2009 @ 11:32 am
  2. I see your are using a Sony HD video camera. Someone told me that you can’t edit HD video or burn HD DVD yet, have you done any editing or burning in HD?


    Comment by Jeff — March 19, 2009 @ 7:29 am
  3. Hi Jeff,

    Editing HD video isn’t a problem. I am using Corel VideoStudio 12, which is a low cost but powerful editing suite for working with digital video. The HD files are then uploaded to YouTube.

    Comment by Tim — March 19, 2009 @ 7:50 am
  4. Very nice clean video. I am still planing to use the fast track jigs once i get my layout off the paper stage and this has inspired me more so. Very nice work Tim.

    Comment by Adrian Batey — March 23, 2009 @ 5:37 am

Comments RSS TrackBack URI


Leave a comment